What started out as a routine arrest involving two people who allegedly stole $400 worth of welding equipment has grown to include 10 felony bail jumping charges involving cases in four northwest Wisconsin counties, Barron County Circuit Court records said.
A complaint filed Monday, July 22, 2019, identifies the defendants as 30-year-old Jonathan P. Bryan, and 28-year-old Kristine L. Powers, both of 200 Jon Court, Spooner.
The case began Thursday, July 18, when a witness spotted a man running away from the Harbor Freight store in Rice Lake, carrying two boxes.
The witness watched as a late model white Chevy Impala sped up to the running man. He opened the door, threw the boxes in, and jumped in the passenger seat. He and the driver, a woman, disappeared going east on Kern Avenue.
The witness followed the vehicle but lost sight of it as it sped up and fled out of town on County Hwy. C. The witness stayed on the road when, suddenly, he saw the same vehicle parked near an intersection of Hwy. C and a town road near the Rice Lake city limits.
The witness said the same man he’d seen running from the store “was now unloading things from the car and even waved at (the witness).”
The witness went back to town and called 911. A Rice Lake officer returned to the location described by the witness and watched a white Chevy Impala turn onto Hwy. C. It didn’t have a license plate.
The officer stopped the car, which he said was driven by defendant Powers with defendant Bryan in the passenger seat. Both defendants allegedly admitted stealing the merchandise. In the car were two portable welding torch kits valued at just under $400. Powers allegedly said Bryan stole the items so he could pay for his previous crimes.
The complaint said that at the time of his arrest, Bryan was a defendant in open felony cases in Washburn, Polk, Douglas and Burnett counties. The charges include identity theft, intimidating a victim, being a felon in possession of a firearm, possessing and/or selling a firearm silencer, maintaining a drug trafficking place, possession of methamphetamine, issuing worthless checks, vehicle theft, and multiple counts of felony bail jumping.
Defendant Powers was out on bond in connection a felony meth possession charge at the time of her arrest, court records said.